11 Sep 2006

Fiji's Electoral Supervisor calls for big increase in number of staff

3:37 pm on 11 September 2006

There is a proposal before the Fiji government to substantially increase the number of permanent staff at the Electoral office.

The Supervisor of Elections, Semesa Karavaki, says he is asking for 100 more staff because there are only four full time people at present.

He says they had 200 people temporarily working to update the roll before last May's election but the office is now back to minimum staff.

Mr Karavaki says the voter register was the biggest problem in the last election.

"We have a law in Fiji, the Electoral Act, which provides for the continuous preparations in terms of looking after the voters register and also in educating the voters but it has not been done, due to the lack of resources. Hopefully any funding from Australia would be to build up the capacity of the elections office."

Mr Karavaki says his proposal, which would cover staff costs for five years and the running of the next general election, would cost 25 million Fiji dollars, compared to the 29 million dollars last time.